Observing a mysterious white culture while living on the ragged edge of poverty in an unaccepted Mexican subculture of America was acutely troubling to a child simply looking for safety, acceptance and a place to belong. These poems are of the brutal struggles of hard work in dangerous times. These poems are about a papá who never wavered under the difficult challenges of working and raising a family in a foreign country as a migrant laborer and a mamá who dedicated herself to loving and protecting her children at all costs, in a man’s world, twice over. In a time when we were innocent and vulnerable and the world was a scary, foreign place, all we had were our parent’s gifts. Papá’s strong work ethic helped us forge ahead and not give up through difficult times and Mamá’s passion and the pictures she painted in our minds filled us with hope… and hope was the road we traveled into our future. Migrant Sun is a poignant tale of love in hard times, racism, forgiveness in the face of brutality, but most of all, how the bonds of family are ultimately more important than any differences we may have had within our family or that existed outside of it.
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Señor Ledesma was born in Toppenish, Washington into a family of sixteen brothers and sisters. His parents emigrated from Mexico in the 1930’s and his family spent the following twenty years living and working in migrant labor camps throughout the Western United States.
Señor Ledesma served in the military before attending Eastern Washington State College, now Eastern Washington University in Cheney, Washington, earning a BA and M.Ed., in history, sociology and anthropology. His graduate work was in counseling.
Señor Ledesma worked as a mental health therapist for thirty-eight years before retiring to write. He now spends his time chronicling his family’s early years on the road looking for something and someplace better. He lives with his wife, Kendra, a retired high school mathematics teacher on ten acres in rural Sedro Woolley, Washington.